Israeli officials and representatives of the Ramat Gan Diamond Exchange denied all charges of laundering conflict stones. The move came after the United Nations issued a report accusing Israel as serving as a laundering route for some of the imports of diamonds smuggled out of Angola.
The UN’s recent report on sanctions against UNITA claimed that more than $1 million in diamonds are smuggled out of Angola each day.
“It appears that Antwerp and South African markets are two key points of sale or transit for embargoed diamonds, with Israel being used as a laundering route for some imports,” according to the report.
According to the Jerusalem Post, Israel Diamond Exchange President Shmuel Schnitzer calls the report nonsense.
Since De Beers pulled out of Angola in 1999, all stones imported to Israel from Angola are handled by Israeli diamond dealer Lev Leviev, who runs the Angola Selling Corp in cooperation with the Angolan Government.
Sixteen companies were earmarked by the UN for suspected violations of the Angolan sanctions, including nine firms from Belgium, four from South Africa and three from Israel.